Wednesday, August 22, 2012

They did it their way

Making news internationally (as far as China!), one of the world's most famous golf clubs, Augusta National, has finally admitted two women as members. Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore, the VP of an investment company and major donor to the University of South Carolina (the business school is named after her).
The controversy over the lack of female members has been been consistently cyclical. Every year when the Masters is played there, the issue is reinvigorated with various levels of vigor. Last year was a renewed burst of criticism/activism due to the then-recent naming of Virgina Rometty as the new chairperson of IBM--a position that has always come with a membership at Augusta. But Rometty was not one of the two women--because Augusta does things on its own terms. As former chairperson of Augusta, Hootie Johnson, said during the years when the controversy was highest (i.e. Martha Burk was protesting nearby), Augusta would make changes in its own due time and not "at the point of a bayonet." And certainly not because a bunch of feminists were standing outside with signs.
Burk was interviewed about the news and called it a victory. I don't think I would categorize it as such. But at least now we can move on to some of the larger issues of discrimination in sport that affect more than a tiny fraction of the population.

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